AT&T, DirecTV: FCC Should Not Extend Comment Deadline

Some critics of the proposed AT&T-DirecTV merger have asked the Federal Communications Commission for more time to comment on -- or attempt to block -- the deal, but the companies say no way.  

Telco AT&T and satellite-TV provider DirecTV countered that the FCC should not grant Public Knowledge and the Community Broadband Networks Initiative extra time to file comments and petitions on the proposed merger, which would yield a company with some 26 million pay TV subscribers. They said the FCC has an obligation to review the deal "as expeditiously as possible," and that nothing offered up by those groups warrants any delay.  

In a joint opposition to the motion for an extension, AT&T and DirecTV said that none of the reasons offered -- the need for more time to provide "meaningful input" and the confluence of the deadline with other pleading cycle deadlines -- justify a 30-day extension. They said such an extension would result in a "significant and unjustified" delay -- and would have the effect of extending the reply and final comment deadlines as well.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.